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China in 1910
Colonies and influence zones in Asia and the South Pacific in 1914

Concessions in China were a group of concessions within late imperial China and during the Republic of China (1911-1949), which were governed and occupied by foreign powers, and are frequently associated with colonialism.

Most had extraterritoriality and were enclaves inside key cities that became treaty ports. Other than other minor extraterritorial regions, these concessions no longer exist.

Contents

HistoryEdit

Imperial China periodEdit

Imperial China granted the concessions during the latter Qing Dynasty period (1644–1911), as a result of the series of "Unequal Treaties". They began in 1842's Treaty of Nanjing with the United Kingdom. Under each treaty, China was usually obligated to open more treaty ports for trade and lease out more territory as part of the concession or surrender it completely. The one exception that preceded this period was Macau, which had been leased in 1557 to the Kingdom of Portugal, during the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644); Portugal continued to pay rent up to 1863 to stay in Macau.[1]

There were a varying number of concessions in each city. For example, the concessions in Tianjin reached a total of nine at the height of the era. The concessions were usually under the control of a single Western power or the Empire of Japan. However, in the Shanghai International Settlement, the United Kingdom and the United States merged their concessions, while the French retained their separate French Concession.

OperationsEdit

In these concessions, the citizens of each foreign power were given the right to freely inhabit, trade, do missionary reductions, and travel. They developed their own sub-cultures, isolated and distinct from the intrinsic Chinese culture, and colonial administrations attempted to give their concessions "homeland" qualities. Churches, public houses, and various other western commercial institutions sprang up in the concessions. In the case of Japan, its own traditions and language naturally flourished. Some of these concessions eventually had a more advanced architecture of each originating culture than most cities back in the countries of the origin of the foreign powers.

Chinese were originally forbidden from most of the concessions, but to improve commercial activity and services, by the 1860s most concessions permitted Chinese, but treated them like second-class citizens as they were not citizens of the foreign state administering the concession. They eventually became the majority of the residents inside the concessions. Non-Chinese in the concessions were generally subject to consular law, and some of these laws applied to the Chinese residents.

LawEdit

Each concession also had its own police force and different legal jurisdictions with their own separate laws. Thus, an activity might be legal in one concession but illegal in another. Many of the concessions also maintained their own military garrison and a standing army. Military and police forces of the Chinese government were sometimes present. Some police forces allowed Chinese, others did not.

Republic of China periodEdit

 
The Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank, built in 1923 and The Customs House, built in 1927, Shanghai

The foreign concessions continued in the mainland Republic of China (1912–1949) period. In major cities like Shanghai and Tianjin, because there were so many jurisdictions, criminals could commit a crime in one jurisdiction and then easily escape to another. This became a major problem during the Republic of China period, with the rise of post–Imperial Warlord era and the collapse of central authority in the 1920s–30s. Crime often flourished, especially organized crime by different warlord groups.

Some efforts were made by the foreign powers to have the different police forces cooperate and work together, but not with significant success. The image of gangsters and Triad societies connected with the major cities and concessions of the period is often due to extraterritoriality within the cities.

At the start of the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937–1945), the standing army in the Japanese concessions would be used against the mainland Republic of China and Chinese forces.

List of concessionsEdit

Country Concession Location (modern name) Year established Year dissolved Note
  International Shanghai International Settlement Shanghai 1863 1945 Formed from the British concession
International Beijing Legation Quarter Beijing 1861 1945
International Gulangyu Island Xiamen 1903 1945
  Austria-Hungary Austro-Hungarian concession in Tianjin Tianjin 1902 1917 Ceded to Italy after WWI
  Belgium Belgian concession in Tianjin Tianjin 1902 1931 [2]
  France Kwang-Chou-Wan leased territory Zhanjiang 1898 1946 [3]
  France French Concession Shanghai 1849 1946
  France French Concession in Shamian Island, Guangzhou Guangzhou 1861 1946
  France French Concession in Hankou Hankou 1896 1946
  France French concession in Tianjin Tianjin 1861 1946
  France French Railway, Kunming Kunming 1904 1940 After the French, WWII saw a significant influx of American troops.
  Germany Kiautschou Bay leased territory Qingdao 1898 1914
  Germany German concession in Hankou Hankou 1895 1917
  Germany German concession in Tianjin Tianjin 1895 1917
  Italy Italian concession in Tianjin Tianjin 1901 1947
  Japan Kwantung Leased Territory/South Manchuria Railway Zone Dalian 1905 1945 Obtained from Russia
  Japan Kiautschou Bay leased territory Qingdao 1914 1922 Obtained from Germany
  Japan Japanese concession in Tianjin Tianjin 1898 1943
  Japan Japanese concession in Hankou Hankou 1898 1943
  Japan Japanese Taiwan Taiwan 1895 1945
  Japan Japanese concession in Chongqing Chongqing 1897 1943
  Japan Japanese concession in Suzhou Suzhou 1897 1943
  Japan Japanese concession in Hangzhou Hangzhou 1897 1943
  Japan Japanese concession in Shashi Shashi 1898 1943
  Portugal Portuguese Macau Macau 1557 1999
  Russia Russian Dalian Dalian 1898 1905
  Soviet Union Soviet concession in Dalian Dalian 1945 1955
  Russia Russian concession in Tianjin Tianjin 1900 1924
  Russia Russian concession in Hankou Hankou 1896 1924
  Russia Chinese Eastern Railway, Harbin Harbin 1896 1952
  United Kingdom New Territories, Hong Kong Hong Kong 1898 1997
  United Kingdom Weihaiwei leased territory Weihai 1898 1930 Liugong Island remained under British control as a separate territory until 1940
  United Kingdom Liugong Island Weihai 1930 1940 Formerly part of Weihaiwei leased territory since 1898[4]
  United Kingdom British concession in Tianjin Tianjin 1860 1943
  United Kingdom British concession in Hankou Hankou 1861 1927
  United Kingdom British concession in Jiujiang Jiujiang 1861 1927
  United Kingdom British concession in Zhenjiang Zhenjiang 1861 1929
  United Kingdom British concession in Shamian Island, Guangzhou Guangzhou 1861 1945
  United Kingdom British concession in Amoy Xiamen 1852 1930
  United Kingdom British concession in Dalian Dalian 1858 1860
  United Kingdom British concession in Shanghai Shanghai 1846 1863 Merged to form Shanghai International Settlement
  United Kingdom Trading warehouses at Tengchong (Tengyue) Yunnan Late 19th/early 20th century. Still standing, with bullet holes. British diplomat Augustus Margary murdered here 1875. Consulate built 1921.
  United States American concession in Shanghai Shanghai 1848 1863 Merged to form Shanghai International Settlement
  United States American concession in Tianjin Tianjin 1860 1902 Merged to form British concession in Tianjin

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Joseph Timothy Haydn (1885). Dictionary of dates, and universal reference. [With] (18 ed.). Oxford University. p. 522. MACAO (in Quang-tong, S. China) was given to the Portuguese as a commercial station in 1586 (in return for their assistance against pirates), subject to an annual tribute, which was remitted in 1863. Here Camoens composed part of the "Lusiad."
  2. ^ Anne-Marie Brady; Douglas Brown (2013). Foreigners and Foreign Institutions in Republican China. Routledge. p. 27. ISBN 978-0-415-52865-8.
  3. ^ Geoffrey C. Gunn (1 November 2016). Wartime Macau: Under the Japanese Shadow. Hong Kong University Press. p. 28. ISBN 978-988-8390-51-9.
  4. ^ Fiona de Londras; Siobhán Mullally (4 December 2014). Irish Yearbook of International Law. Bloomsbury Publishing. p. 24. ISBN 978-1-84946-975-3.

ReferencesEdit

  • Nield, Robert (2010). The China Coast: Trade and the First Treaty Ports. Hong Kong: Joint Publishing Company. ISBN 9789620429873.

Further readingEdit

  • Panikkar, K. M. (1953). Asia and Western dominance, 1498-1945, by K.M. Panikkar. London: G. Allen and Unwin.

External linksEdit